The appointment of Txiki Begiristain by Manchester City, as their new Director of Football, has got some observers guessing that the club may be following the path of Barcelona.
The recruiting of Ferran Soriano, Barcelona’s former financial VP, as City’s new CEO and the rumors of Pep Guardiola coming to Blue side of Manchester also signal towards City’s intentions to complete the circle of Barcelona’s executives in Manchester.
But keep in mind that City recently extended the contract of Roberto Mancini, Manchester City’s current manager, till summer of 2017.
The fact is that City who ousted United, their biggest rivals and neighbors, last season by a tiny margin, seemingly is redefining the dimensions of soccer globally.
The finances, the changes in top management and the team itself are seemed to be heading towards that way.
And it sure helps when the owners, Sheikh Mansur bin Zayed Al Nahyan and chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, have degrees in political science and economics respectively from American universities.
And even though Sheikh Mansur is very rarely spotted at City’s Etihad stadium, his vision has revolutionized the English club from being the “poor cousin” to United to now challenging them both on and off the football field.
The upward spiral of City from its days of ownership of Thaksin Shinawatra till now, is truly extraordinary.
Approximately $776 million is spent by Manchester city in last four years, to buy new players. This has been one of the major causes for City’s “meteoric” ascent. Also a new academy is under construction to promote home grown talent in the club.
One criticism may be that with all these changes the club has moved far away from his English roots. A testament to this fact is that neither of the owner, the chairman, CEO, director of football, manager and the club captain have English as their first language.
The change and the recent success has also changed the expectation of the club supporters, who before this “new look” club used to support the team at all times. But after City’s defeat at Ajax, the fans booed the team in their first half against Swansea City. This shows that the fans now expect the club to win every time.
The management faces similar pressure as the players, with the rise of this new “winning mentality” in the Blue half of Manchester.
One thing’s clear that last season’s “narrow” title claim of EPL was the platform towards Champions league. And if Roberto Mancini fails to deliver that, something he failed to do with inter Milan, than the new former Barcelona executives know some who can. And with the signs that Sheikh may be Bedding down for long term, winning the champions league is surely the next target for City.